In the race to digitization, development teams have become the backbone of many organizations; they and the operations teams are required to do more than ever before. Often these teams drive innovation and change at the same time they are maintaining legacy code and ensuring products or services always perform. Organizations that allow dev and ops teams to be flexible, fast-moving, and opportunistic are businesses that win, which is why so many organizations are prioritizing building a DevOps culture.
DevOps culture combines the development team with the operations team in an effort to create software faster and with fewer errors. DevOps culture is a big switch from traditional IT culture; rather than having the dev and ops teams working separately, DevOps culture facilitates communication between them by having them share common goals. It requires that each side understand the objectives and can work together to make the business successful.
The right culture in your DevOps team can pay huge dividends. A study of 4,600 IT teams reported that those adopting a DevOps culture deployed software 200 times more frequently than low-performing teams. They spent half as much time fixing security issues, achieved faster recovery times, and had three times lower change-failure rates. Nearly all organizations can find some benefit in adopting a DevOps culture, but what does this culture look like?
Measure, track accountability, and be transparent
At each step, it is critical to establish clear key performance indicators (KPIs). Team members should always know what is expected of them and how it fits into the total project. This transparency not only leads to better communication, but it can also benefit team accountability.
In the past, many companies tended to isolate workers. Project elements were only shared on a "need-to-know" basis. The best DevOps teams have moved past that. Everyone should know how systems work and how things fit together. Collaboration tools like Microsoft Azure DevOps Server, and open source alternatives, give teams a clear picture of project stages throughout planning, development, testing, and deployment.
Make sure each team member understands the common goal. The more team members understand their role and how it fits with others, the more efficient they will be. You want team members to exhibit shared accountability across function groups.
Automate what you can
By reducing manual and repetitive tasks, you will increase your development and testing speed while cutting down on errors.
A large part of DevOps culture is to automate when possible and standardize production platforms. Standardization and automation help make deployments more predictable and less prone to human errors. Automate anything you can as part of the workflow process, including scalable infrastructures, compliance, and continuous delivery workflows. For example, tools like Docker allow development teams to automate application deployments rapidly.
By reducing manual and repetitive tasks, you will increase your development and testing speed while cutting down on errors. Additionally, by eliminating tedious, repetitive tasks, you will also free up your team to work on higher-level tasks and reduce their fatigue and burnout.
Create a culture of collaboration
Adopting DevOps culture can be an opportunity to completely break down the walls between departments and work units. Sometimes the development team and operations team have different priorities, and that's OK, but businesses should work to create a bridge of communication between them.
In other IT cultures, software development is compartmentalized to achieve speed by isolating team members to parts of projects. The development team focuses on new, innovative software, while operations works to mitigate risk and maintain the system. These priorities can create clashes. DevOps culture works to bridge these priorities through early and constant communication. By bringing the teams together from the start of software development, they can identify risks, bugs, and errors before software is sent to the operations teams. No longer will teams wait until the end to bring it all together and then identify problems that could have been fixed earlier in the development cycle.
This collaborative approach means software can be developed faster and with fewer bugs. In addition to the culture shift, teams will need new DevOps development tools, like JFrog and Go registries, which allow for both compartmentalization and collaboration. Tools like these allow better visibility and communication between team members.
Having operations and development on the same team creates collaboration. In addition to fostering a better sense of team, a DevOps culture can also help individual team members grow their skills or show other talents. By combining dev and operations, team leaders may be able to identify how people think outside their specific area of expertise. Challenging team members to think beyond just their goals and approach problems collaboratively can help individuals add additional skills or insights to the overall process. This can help leaders find today's team members that can potentially become tomorrow's team leaders.
Set realistic, transparent goals
Eliminating separate teams empowers individuals to step in and help when a milestone is at risk.
There's nothing more frustrating for DevOps teams than unrealistic goals. If they feel what they are asked to do is impossible, they likely will not give you their best efforts. By having increased communication and visibility between teams, managers will be able to set realistic goals that can reasonably be accomplished.
Additionally, by working together and side-by-side, DevOps teams also understand how the whole team is performing. They are able to see where projects get delayed or if they are moving correctly through the process. Eliminating separate teams empowers individuals to step in and help when a milestone is at risk. By seeing the whole process, they are more invested and able to create positive change when needed and ensure even more projects are delivered on time.
Create a shared learning and continuous improvement environment
The best DevOps teams are agile and constantly looking for ways to get better. Part of continuous improvement means establishing formal and informal feedback loops. This feedback is critical across teams and disciplines. By getting regular feedback from production, development, design, and management, you can cut development time. It also empowers everyone across the DevOps team to recognize their role in the overall product.
People like to be part of successful teams that consistently meet and exceed goals. Success breeds success. At the same time, team members that don't feel challenged in their work or get recognition for their contribution are more likely to leave.
DevOps culture's varied benefits
Ultimately, fast, agile, innovative teams are vital to business success, and a DevOps culture can help drive business. DevOps cultures provide stronger communication, set unified and transparent goals, and establish realistic timelines. By encouraging automation and standardization of processes, DevOps also can produce faster software development and fewer errors. Finally, it can create happy and empowered team members who can contribute in new ways. Adopting a DevOps culture can be the competitive advantage your organization needs.
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